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THE MERE WIFE. Diary of an MP's Wife by Sasha Swire review – candid account of a Tory clique. Take a second to support Three Crows on Patreon! Maria Dahvana Headley's work is always strong with a beautiful point of view of the… ...Headley imbues The Mere Wife with the trappings of myth, from a deadly sword to a disembodied arm, from a dragon to a pack of formidable mothers. Alicia Sometimes and Raf Epstein both praise Maria Dahvana Headley's modern retelling of Beowulf in Drive's monthly book club. Not only does it tell an intimate tale of mothers struggling against one another and their sons, but it is a tale brought out from the fecund ground of one of the oldest tales in the world, Beowulf . What Gren wants – a place by the hearth, the touch of a friend, love – makes him perfectly human. Movie Reviews TV Reviews Roundtables Podcasts 'My Rembrandt': Film Review ... of a husband and wife, on either side of the bed. Yet, somehow, she survives, waking up pregnant in She awoke one day and found Gren. He was an accident, a surprise spark in the dark, and one that will not go quietly. She knows she is a member of the marines. The question rippling through Headley’s ambitious novel is why we need to cast anyone as a monster at all. To borrow from the blurb on Amazon: New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley presents a modern retelling of the literary classic Beowulf , set in American suburbia as two mothers—a housewife and a battle-hardened veteran—fight to protect those they love in The Mere Wife . The Mere Wife: A Novel › Customer reviews; Customer reviews. 0 reviews. Headley is not only at the height of her talent but clearly shows that there can be more done with old ideas than any of us could dare hope. (Penguin, $16.) Headley has written a novel that does everything a book should, but does the extra work with creating a brand new translation of an old story. Book. But what does the monster want? But “The Mere Wife” brings the story into the 21st century in a curious way. It is a reimagining of the classic poem into a modern lens. If it means “only”, then perhaps it’s an ironic reference to Willa, who is a desperate and dangerous woman under the homemaker surface. That town no longer exists. Her diction and prose are written in a way to evoke the Old English story, even using a few words from the old dialect. She is interrogated and ends up in … Her command of prose and point of view is impressive by any measure, and makes a story that is utterly readable and impactful. Find your local library. This slice of suburban life is named Herot Hall, and it is the archetype of American living. A list of “selected translations” at the start of the novel gives Headley’s definitions of three words: the masculine noun aglæca means “fighter, warrior, hero”; the feminine counterpart aglæca-wif means “wretch, monster, hell-bride, hag”. Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife tells the story of Dana Mills, an American POW beheaded on YouTube for the world to watch. Where it stood, there is now a gated community of mini-mansions named Herot, and the grandest of these is Herot Hall, occupied by the founder’s son Roger Herot, his wife Willa and their son Dylan. Headley elevates the quiet calm of suburbia by her use of language. While Dana’s sections are first-person, the Herot chapters are told in the third person and centred on Willa, with waspish humour at the expense of her Waspy life. Headley, unlike the Beowulf poet, only shows us Gren as others see him, and neither Willa nor Dana has perfect vision. From the catalog copy: From the catalog copy: From the perspective of those who live in Herot Hall, the suburb is a paradise. (Willa, we learn, has only feared once that her husband might betray her: a time when he “began to pour himself scotch and sob at the dining table, using words like existential and guitar”.). Headley suspects the word really means "formidable" or "awe-inspiring" — and that's the picture she hopes to paint in The Mere Wife, a modern retelling of … You can send news, tips, and suggestions to [email protected]. The Mere Wife is clever and often funny, finding ingenious ways to update the Beowulf story, in a way that produces wry social commentary. “Any of those things will make him a target. She modernized the tale of Beowulf into the US in the decades following 9/11. Write a review. She goes from dinners to cocktail hours to school events with her son, Dylan, close at her heels. Liked it? Headley hits the beats of the original story while shifting the focus entirely. For Willa, he’s the intruder who threatens her family; for Dana, he’s someone whose otherness makes him vulnerable. Over 800 years later, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein gave us a monster with not just pathos but psychology; Headley’s story owes as much to the Romantic era as the Anglo-Saxon. In Beowulf, Grendel invades Herot Hall and dines on Danes. Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife has finally been loosed upon the world. Both Dana and Willa recognise something fearful in Gren. The Beowulf analogue here is police officer Ben Woolf, but he’s certainly not the hero: the roaming consciousness of the novel spends barely more time resting with him than it does, delightfully, with a pack of dogs (“We travel on perfume lines, drink them out of the air like you listen to the radio”). And now comes Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife, which turns to Beowulf for inspiration and structure and import. In this way it is a story of mothers and sons, the equal intensity and distance of that bond. In The Mere Wife, the residents of Herot are invaders. The Mere Wife. The Old English epic becomes an ambitious American fable, in this bloodthirsty novel told from the point of view of the monster’s mother. Herot has no place for Dana and Gren, her miraculous child, born fatherless and with teeth. The Mere Wife is a book by Maria Dahvana Headley that is a retelling of Beowulf set in 21st-century America. Book of the day Fiction The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley review – a modern Beowulf The Old English epic becomes an ambitious American … Engraved on the Eye by Saladin Ahmed REVIEW, Review: A Collection of Obsessions by Michael R. Fletcher. A boy with brown skin?” The echo here is not centuries old, but six years: Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot dead in a gated community by a neighbourhood watch patroller. The story’s setting is in a microcosm of civilization: suburbia. A reader of literary works or urban fantasy would enjoy this, especially if they are a fan of novels that deal with hard issues head-on. The novel does share the legacy of Beowulf; none of these women are perfect. Buy this book from hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you. The problem is that Gren is unaware of the invisible and unspoke barriers that are between him and the rest of the world. New York Times bestselling author Maria Dahvana Headley’s fierce, feminist retelling of … The Mere Wife is a tour de force that blends bits of magical realism and thriller-esque elements bound with literary flair to create a mythic masterpiece. The Mere Wife author told Raf how she brought the perspectives of women and people of colour to the fore, and how she prioritised communicating her character's feelings and experience, over physical appearance. Even inside Herot, she knows that “You can’t fight nature … You can’t make it human. Dana Mills wakes up unsure of what has happened to her or why she is pregnant. Both of them are mere women, yet by story’s end, both have wreaked havoc upon so many people. Free UK p&p over £15, online orders only. Everyone is an animal.”. Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy and author of "In Search of the Common Good: Christian Fidelity in a Fractured World." Made in 2D cut out animation made from elephant dung paper this quaint tale follows the story of a young mahout and his elephant, through to his marriage to a beautiful, but jealous Karen girl. Few stories published today feel as mythical as Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife. ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Headley (Magonia) applies the broad contours of the Beowulf story to her tale but skillfully seeds her novel with reflections on anxieties and neuroses that speak to the concerns of modern parenting." As seen: By Maria Headley avg rating . The Mere Wife is a bold, stunning riptide of a book." ... let it go for a mere $185,000.) You can’t even make yourself human. and fantasy, steps into the adult world with this spot-on reimagining of a classic of Old English literature. It’s unforgettable that the women, not the titular hero of the original story, are the focus of The Mere Wife . Everything is as it should be. Even Dana Mills, as a soldier landing on foreign shores to fight against people who live there, is an invader. Willa, whose husband is the heir to Herot Hall, enjoys everything life has to offer. "The Mere Wife" (MCD and Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Maria Dahvana Headley Maria Dahvana Headley's new novel, "The Mere Wife," is much more than a simple recasting of the ancient epic poem "Beowulf" in the suburbs. She plans dinner parties and pours cocktails, but she also sees that a balaclava looks like “a sucked dry head, skull and eyes missing, only skin left”. How are ratings calculated? The Mere Wife is a sly satire of suburbia, wittily detailed and narratively bold. It is Willa, Dana and the matriarchs of Herot Hall who make the story what it is. To everyone else? 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